Generic photo to illustrate adoption. Picture: iStock
Generic photo to illustrate adoption. Picture: iStock

Dating apps only reinforce bad relationship habits

WHETHER you meet through friends, at a bar or on a dating app, it makes no difference to how a relationship will pan out, according to an Ipswich romance expert.

Love doctor Raquel Peel said people genuinely looking for love through dating apps like Tinder won't have trouble forging successful, long-term relationships.


She said Tinder is simply an effective way to meet new people quickly, especially as our lives get busier.

Mrs Peel said it's those who already struggle to forming and maintaining connections who will struggle finding that special someone, no matter where they're looking.

Mrs Peel is a lecturer in psychology and counselling based at the University of Southern Queensland's Ipswich campus.

She has found that the way two people meet was no barometer for the quality of a partnership.

Her current research is focused on relationship self-sabotage.

"I've conducted numerous studies looking at, first of all how psychologists would understand that phenomenon and then looking at the clients they had," she said.

"Then I moved onto looking at people in relationships and how they understand self-sabotage and how they practice."

The ability to get in contact a random person with the swipe of a phone screen can reinforce bad behaviour.

She spoke to one psychologist who told her about a client who would go on Tinder dates and then while still there, be looking on the app for someone else to possibly "swap" the date if the spark wasn't there.

"That says more about the person than the app or the online world," Mrs Peel said.

"It says that person doesn't have the skills to be in that relationship.

"It's given people an extra tool. It doesn't serve to change our minds. For those people that have the tendency to sabotage already, it's an extra way of doing it.

"I think it's a very positive tool if you're going in actually wanting to meet someone."

Mrs Peel said a lot of people struggled in relationships because they didn't have the right relationship skills, not just for romantic interests, but with peers, friends and family.

"You have to go in with the self awareness of what is your intention," she said.

"If you want to find someone you have to think about how you're dealing with people, the skills you have in communicating and maintaining relationships.

"You have to think about your motivation for using those apps.

Mrs Peel said some of the most destructive behaviours people exhibit online are "insensitiveness".

There's a tendency to victimise and take everything personally," she said.

"If you have difficulties with trust, that might be problematic as well.

"A big thing I've found is a misconception of expectation of what it entails to be in a relationship.

"Things like what to expect from a first date. If you've texted someone and it's been an hour and they haven't replied (and there is a problem) … that tells me you don't understand the expectations around communicating with people."

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